Pedro Varela

(this page was last updated in July 2023)

Petrópolis, 1981.
Lives and works in Niterói, Brazil

Represented by Anima Gallery Anita SchwartzGaleria Enrique GuerreroXippas Art Gallery e DotArt Gallery

PIPA Prize 2011 and 2019 nominee.

The cities Pedro Varela draws are far more connected to literature than to any reference in the visual arts. As if waiting for a text by Borges to accompany them, they reserve large blank spaces on the paper. They could also be mirages seen from afar by a character of A Thousand and One Nights, cities with female names like those by Italo Calvino, or castles from a tale we keep from the infancy of our experience in literature.

To these fictional allusions, Varela merges buildings we know from real places: ‘I’ve seen that one in Chicago, that dome belongs to the city’s cathedral, that’s the Ontario Tower!’ Amidst mountains, Varela’s cities have a Rio de Janeiro accent: where but in Rio can one see a little castle besides a monumental rock that seems to support the sky-scraper? And then the drawings pour out of ballpoint pens and, alive like a real city, do not respect the paper limits, invading walls and danger zones such as windows.

Video produced by Do Rio Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2019:

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